NBA game lines posted as league finalizes regular-season schedule
The NBA has released the remainder of its 2019-20 regular-season schedule, to be played entirely at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. Action will return on July 30 (be sure to check out our free NBA expert picks starting on that date) and run through Aug. 14 before the playoffs begin. A total of 22 teams are participating in the Orlando restart, with only those squads that are at least six games out of playoff contention being cast aside. The 22 participating teams will all play eight more regular-season games.
Opening night 2.0 will feature the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans followed by an all-L.A. showdown between the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans is a -1 favorite over Utah, while Clippers vs. Lakers is currently a pick ‘em.
On Friday, July 31, games include the Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks. The Bucks are -5.5 favorites over the Celtics, while Houston is giving 1.5 points to Dallas. Boston-Milwaukee is a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview, as they are the top two choices to reach the NBA Finals out of the East (Milwaukee is -185; Boston is +650).
The first weekend of hoops includes the Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets, the Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers, and the Bucks vs. Rockets. Miami-Denver is currently a pick ‘em game.
It is worth keeping an eye on players who will not be present in Orlando. The oft-injured Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards, who is set for a lucrative free-agent contract this offseason, has already opted out. The Lakers will be without Avery Bradley (they are thinking about replacing him with J.R. Smith). Sixteen NBA players recently tested positive for coronavirus, so there is a chance the absentee numbers could increase.
For now, futures odds have mostly been unaffected. The Lakers are +225 title favorites, followed by the Bucks at +300. Next are the Clippers (+350), Rockets (+1000), Celtics (+1500), 76ers (+2200), and Raptors (+2200).
Here is the full slate for the first week of games (all times EST):
Thursday, July 30
Utah vs. New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.
LA Clippers vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m.
Friday, July 31
Orlando vs. Brooklyn, 2:30 p.m.
Memphis vs. Portland, 4 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Washington, 4 p.m.
Boston vs. Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.
Sacramento vs. San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Houston vs. Dallas, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1
Miami vs. Denver, 1 p.m.
Utah vs. Oklahoma City, 3:30 p.m.
New Orleans vs. LA Clippers, 6 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Indiana, 7 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Toronto, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2
Washington vs. Brooklyn, 2 p.m.
Portland vs. Boston, 3:30 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Memphis, 4 p.m.
Sacramento vs. Orlando, 6 p.m.
Milwaukee vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Phoenix, 9 p.m.